Which  window handle is returned on Windows 7 using  findWindow("Progman", "Program Manager")

Posted on 2010-09-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
First,  I am surprised that this call works since Windows 7 doesn't use Program Manager.

Will this call return the correct virtual screen size in a multiple monitor setup on Windows 7?
Question by:pink1964

Assisted Solution

JohnGaby earned 400 total points
ID: 33591264
Are you trying to get the size of the various monitors attached to the system?  If so the following link might be useful:


If you are just looking for the handle to the desktop, try:

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Expert Comment

ID: 33593412
pink1964--I confess to not understanding the question.  None of the commands listed work in Win7. Progman.exe does not come with Win7.
So following on JohnGaby's post, what is it you want to do?
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Accepted Solution

AndyAinscow earned 1600 total points
ID: 33594155

    HWND hWnd = ::FindWindow(_T("progman"), _T("Program Manager"));
    RECT rc;
    ::GetWindowRect(hWnd, &rc);

rc does contain the total size of a dual monitor system (on windows 7) BUT I don't know if I would trust it to do that reliably.
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 33598172
Thanks Andy for confirming my test results.  

I posed my original question because I was hoping some of you might know if there was a legitimate reason Microsoft left this code in Windows 7;  it appears based on the responses I've gotten that this is not the case.  
I agree that using a reference to the Program Manager  is probably not reliable on Windows 7 and think it is likely an artifact that was overlooked and could go away at any time.

That said, there are many examples on the web which use the call to findWindow("Progman", "Program Manager");  a colleague of mine found one and used it to find the virtual screen size.  The call works fine on XP, but we need to support Windows 7 as well.
John Gaby posted a useful link.  

I tested GetDesktopWindow and it works fine for the primary monitor.  On a two monitor setup using XP,  the rectangle it returned was the one for the primary monitor only.  I have not tested a two monitor setup using this call on Windows 7.

I am currently using GetSystemMetrics, calling it 4 times to retrieve the virtual screen coordinates: SM_XVIRTUALSCREEN, SM_YVIRTUALSCREEN, SM_CXVIRTUALSCREEN, SM_CYVIRTUALSCREEN.  

Thanks again for your assistance!
LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 33598613
It could be Microsoft left it in to stop apps breaking on Win 7.  (Feedback from beta testing for example)

Author Comment

ID: 33613113
Very good and plausible guess Andy.

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